Rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.80 percent this week, down from 5.91 percent last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly nationwide survey.
It was the third straight decline since rates at the end of March hit 6.04 percent, the highest they had been since last July. The 30-year mortgage now stands at its lowest level since early March.
Analysts attributed this week's decline to economic reports that raised concerns that this year's spike in oil prices could be pushing the economy into another "soft patch" that would be a repeat of last year's period of weakness.
Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, fell to 5.36 percent this week, down from 5.46 percent last week.
Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 4.26 percent, down from 4.30 percent last week.
Five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.22 percent this week, down from 5.31 percent last week. These hybrid mortgages have a fixed rate for five years and then adjust each year after that.
The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The 30-year mortgage and the 15-year ARM carried a fee of 0.5 points on average, while the five-year and the one-year ARM carried a 0.6-point fee.
EVENTS . . . A Home Building and Renovation Expo is being held today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chevy Chase Bank headquarters, 7501 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. There will be exhibits from 25 area builders and renovation specialists. Seminars throughout the day offer practical ideas and advice for building or renovating. (9:30 a.m.: "How Renovations Impact Your Resale Value"; 10:15 a.m.: "How to Hire a Professional Remodeler"; 11 a.m.: "Maximizing Your Property's Potential"; 11:45 a.m.: "Design/Build vs. Architect/Contractor"; 12:30 p.m.: "Giving Your Split a New Personality.") Admission is free. Phone 240-497-8547 for information. . . .
Cutting-edge design technology is presented in "Thinking as Doing," an exhibit at Catholic University's School of Architecture and Planning (Crough Center, 620 Michigan Ave. NE). On April 30 at 7 p.m., see the culmination of a semester-long design studio reflecting the school's instruction in design and fabrication technology. Admission is free. For information, call 202-319-6861.
PERSONNEL . . . Cynthia M. Clare has joined KSI Management Corp. as the Centreville-based firm's senior vice president of operations.
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